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I cried recently when a mother of a child with ulcerative colitis told me how powerless she felt watching her daughter have painful diarrhea without knowing how she could help.
But, if you want some more ideas on how to help, here are a few:
1. Remind us that this flare is not our fault
We often blame ourselves for our flares and it's a heavy weight to carry. Reminding someone you care for that it's not their fault can help relieve some of that burden.
2. Offer to help by saying "I can do that for you, why don't you rest?"
Since we often feel like a burden to those around us, it can be hard for us to ask for help. You can offer to help with specific tasks such as chores, cooking, or calling the health insurance company so that we can rest.
3. Lend your ear and ask "Do you want to talk about that?"
Listen to us talk about our condition. Sometimes it may be hard for us to share with others that we have this condition, let alone the struggles we're experiencing because of it. Having someone there to listen without judgement can be very cathartic for us.
4. Remind us that we're already doing so much for our health and we're doing the best we can
Remind us that we're doing our best. Sometimes we forget how much we're already doing for our health.
5. Offer to change plans to accommodate our symptoms
If we have to cancel dinner plans due to symptoms, please be understanding. You could offer to cook or bring us a meal, or just come over and have a night in to keep us company on the couch.
Special thanks to our caregivers
A special thank you to all of our families and loves one's who have been there for us in the good times and the hard times. We appreciate you more than you know. ❤️